Although some people may not see it the way I do, today was a monumental day for me. Today was the final day for me to take part in my local MTG play group. But before I get into that, let’s start from a little earlier than that. I used to play Magic the Gathering when I was in my mid-teens. Years later as an adult in my late twenties I became a writer of horror and bizarro fiction. Somehow I managed to become one of the guests for Free Comic Book Day at my local comic book store. So, when that day came I set up a table and pimped my books. While I was at it I decided to start a comic book subscription. Doing this lead me to swinging into the comic book store on a monthly bases to get my comics. Every single time I was there I noticed that people were playing MTG… and I thought to myself, I used to play. Maybe I should get back into it.
So, I did. Made an EDH deck and started showing up in Tuesdays, Thursdays, and some Fridays for casual play. This became a weekly thing. I was hooked.
But that is just getting us to now… a year later and I have 5 Commander decks and I have played practically every chance I could get at the comic book store. Regardless, the question is this… why is my comic book store better than yours? Why is today… my final day… such a monumental one?
I will tell you.
As a comic book, card playing, board game enthusiast you are blessed beyond belief if you have a solid playgroup. I had that. But I can do one even better. The owners of the Lyons Den were more than just owners. They are my friends. I have been in countless stores where the owner was behind the counter being stiff and quiet, just eyeing you to make sure were didn’t try to steal from them. In the above photo I have Leonard on the left, and Kelly on the right. They are brothers. One does all the cards and board games while the other deals with the comics. Not only are they both passionate about their fields of work, but they are masters. You can ask Kelly about a comic book of almost any genre and he can tell you when it is coming without looking it up. Leonard is the same way about cards. I could ask for a card and he could tell me if he had it and a generalized price before even walking to the back to get it. But, it goes beyond that. These guys have countless customers and they took the time to get to know me as a person. Not just as a customer. They got into what I was interested in. they supported my art. My books are even still for sale at their store. And it isn’t that I am special. It’s that these guys truly love what they do and it shows because they have always gone above and beyond for me. And I can see it in other customers. Other regulars that just come in and play cards but don’t spend a lot of money. These owners treat every single person that walks into their store like they are important. And rightfully so… they are important, because they are people. People with lives that matter. If you have an awesome playgroup of MTG of YUGIO, or whatever… at a comic book store and your store owners treat you likes family, consider yourself honored. Because not everyone gets to experience that. I just hope that after I move I find a playgroup that can reach at least half of my expectations, because straight up they are super high. I am going to miss everone!